Pakistan Moves Its Knight

Pakistan might have another female as a prime minister

Recent elections in Muslim countries (parliamentary elections in Pakistan, municipal elections in Algeria) have shown a specific tendency. This tendency is unpleasant both for the West and for the local governments. These elections prove that radical Islamic groups are gaining more and more popularity.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf  tried to prevent Islamic efforts to obtain a large number of seats in  parliament. The Algerian  government has been fighting extremists  for many years already. Yet, radical Islamic blocs win elections, and their ideas are rather popular among the population of the Muslim countries.

However, it seems that the Pakistani president decided not to pay much of  attention to the fact that the United Front of Muslims set up one of the major factions in the government. At any rate, Orthodox Muslims are not likely be delighted with the politician who will chair the government. This politician is a woman.

Her name is Zubeida Jelal. Until recently,  she was the head of the Ministry for Education, for women’s issues, and social  programs of the country. Zubeida Jelal took part in the elections as an independent candidate. As she said,  she was offered the position of the prime minister by the Muslim League of Pakistan (the League supports Musharraf).

Zubeida Jelal  has a good chance of becoming the chairwoman of the Pakistani government. Pakistan has already had a woman at the head of its government: Benazir Bhutto. There is a already a precedent.

If Zubeida becomes the prime minister of Pakistan, this will cause massive anger of Muslims. However, Pervez Musharraf is not likely to listen to them. If she becomes a prime minister, then the incumbent president  will achieve three main goals.  First of all,  he will prove to the West that Pakistan is a secular state, despite the success of the Muslims.  Secondly, he  will strike a serious blow to  his political opponent: Benazir Bhutto.

General Musharraf does not take any risks, though. If there are any problems, then he is entitled to dissolve the parliament or dismiss the prime minister at any moment.

On the photo: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

Vasily Bubnov

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Olga Savka